Governor's Cup Wins in a Row
22 Nov 2023
Ask anyone for a list of America's greatest historical business leaders, and answers will range from twentieth-century industry forerunners like Henry Ford or Thomas Edison to more recent pioneers like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Each of these iconic innovators was an entrepreneur at heart, with brilliant ideas, starting small businesses to resolve local problems or market concerns.
Today, entrepreneurism is essential to communities nationwide, making up 99% of the small businesses that employ Americans and nearly 40% of the private sector payroll. Gage County, NE, is no different. Gage Area Growth Enterprise (NGage) proudly celebrates these business leaders for their brilliant ideas and commitment to making our communities a great place to live.
Entrepreneurs are community leaders whose innovative ideas make Gage County a place where economic growth is fostered! Read more about some of the area’s exciting entrepreneurs below.
Eric Kielian has always felt he possesses an entrepreneurial spirit, perhaps passed down from his father. After growing up in Lincoln but attending Southeast Community College in Beatrice, he saw an opportunity based on a community need.
“There is an extensive trail system in Beatrice, but there hasn’t been a bike shop for more than 30 years,” he said.
So Kielian purchased a lot in Beatrice and constructed a building to house the Big Blue Bike Company, where he services and repairs bicycles and sells used bikes. While he is in the process of setting up a website, he can be contacted at (402) 230-3035, or customers can stop in at 719 Market St., Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Kielian currently rents out part of the building to other entrepreneurs, but is considering utilizing the space as an event center to fill more community needs.
At a time when competing against large franchises is extremely difficult, Kielian believes Beatrice offers entrepreneurs and small businesses some clear advantages. The amenities extend beyond favorable housing prices and numerous outdoor opportunities.
“We are just far enough away from larger cities that the local population would prefer to stay local for their products and services,” he said. “And there is tremendous community support because folks are excited to have something new in the area.”
As her business, Kala’s Savory Treats & Sifted Sweets, outgrew its old location, Kala York found a new spot in downtown Beatrice that offered the space to expand to a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's a family experience for Kala, as her parents, husband and daughter all serve in specific roles in the cafe’s operation.
The Bluebird Boutique in Adams, NE, owned and operated by Kelsey Fossler since 2021, has a great selection of unique clothing and jewelry for customers to find amazing options closer to home for all shapes, sizes, and ages.
As natural problem-solvers, entrepreneurs are job drivers, economy stabilizers, and family builders. When an entrepreneur gets their business off the ground, they hire employees. Employees take those wages into their homes to provide for their families and into communities to purchase necessary and desirable goods and services.
To celebrate them this month and beyond, here are some ways consumers and customers can say “Thank you” to the entrepreneurs of Gage County.
Governor's Cup Wins in a Row
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(U.S. News and World Report, 2019)
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